We often get asked for advice when owners are missing their beloved moggies or when concerned members of the public have found a cat they fear may need assistance. We want to help you as much as we can and we have therefore provided you with a little guide on what you can do in this situation
Microchipping – the single best way to be reunited with your missing cat is to microchip them.
This is a scary time for any pet owner but don’t panic just yet, not all is lost.
Start by helping your cat find it’s way home to you by leaving familiar smells outside the home. This could be items such as cat litter, slippers, bedding, vacuum cleaner contents or other day to day items that will contain either your scent or the scent of your cat. For best results locate these close to the ground and sheltered from rain. You can begin by searching your home, garden, outbuildings and the surrounding grounds. Make sure to check under cars and in the bushes. Check the inside of your home thoroughly as cats hide in the most unlikely of places.
Ask your neighbours to do the same. The average neutered cat roams the distance of approximately 5-10 houses either side of their home, so we recommend you ask at least this number of neighbours. If your cat is not neutered, especially if they are male, they are likely to roam much, much further in search of a mate. We highly recommend neutering your cats, both for their general wellbeing and for their safety during mating season.
Choose the best time to search – cat’s are most active at dusk and dawn. Early morning and late evenings may also be quieter, with less distractions so that’s a good time to go out and search if you can.
Consider what will help you find your cat when out searching – think of familiar sounds and smells in this situation. Does your cat easily recognise the shaking of their treat packet or the bell on their favourite toy? Taking these with you could help your cat find you.
Consider what you may need if you find your cat – You will want to bring your cat home, so we recommend taking a cat carrier with you to safely transport your cat if you find them.
Read on below for more tips and pointers....
Making a poster with your cat’s photo and details on can also make a real difference. You can use this to communicate with neighbours and also post them up in your neighbourhood and local businesses.
Make your own or use our template! To ease this stressful time a little for you, we have prepared an easy to use poster template to help you. You will need Microsoft word to open this poster and you can make any changes you wish before either printing or sharing on social media.
You can send us a copy of your poster at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share this with our network of local rescue contacts.
If you use it, sharing your poster or information about your missing cat on your social media can be really helpful. Make sure to share the information in relevant local facebook groups for maximum exposure and don’t forget to make the post setting public so other people can see and share your information.
Regularly check social media for any potential sightings of your cat.
Firstly call your microchip company and let them know your cat is missing. At this point we recommend you make sure your contact information is up to date so the company can reach you if your cat’s chip is picked up somewhere.
Call local vets, or provide them with a copy of your poster and ask them to contact you if a cat matching this description is handed in to them.
If your cat is missing for a longer period of time, we recommend periodically checking in and letting the vets know this cat is still missing so they continue to look out for them.
Call your local council and ask them to look out for a cat matching your pet’s description. The council is generally called to remove deceased animals that are found on the road or public land.
Contact local rescues and animal shelters and ask them to look out for your pet.
Cat’s protection league operate a missing cat database and offer great advice of finding your cat – www.cats.org.uk
(our local branch is Chiltern Cat’s Protection www.chiltern.cats.org.uk/chiltern/lost-and-found )
Catchat – you can use this to find cat rescues local to you – www.catchat.org
Animal Search UK is the UK’s largest missing pet organisation and free database - www.animalsearchuk.co.uk
Dog Lost – this site is primarily aimed at missing dogs but you’re able to log and register missing cats as well - www.doglost.co.uk
Petlog - the UK’s largest database for microchipped pets - www.petlog.org.uk